Getting a new driver’s license in Georgia is pretty straightforward, whether you’ve just moved to the state or you’re getting a driver’s license for the first time. You’ll need to gather several documents and take them to a Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) office. Depending on your previous driving experience, you may have to take a written permit test, a driving test, or both.
If you are at least 18 years old, you do not need to hold a learner’s permit before applying for your full Georgia driver’s license, unless you want to practice driving before your driving test. If you have a provisional license, it will be converted to a full class C driver’s license when you turn 18 years old, as long has you’ve had no convictions for major traffic violations in the last 12 months.
Georgia’s Graduated Licensing Program (GDL) program is called the Teenage and Adult Drivers Responsibility Act (TADRA) and applies to teen drivers who are 15 to 18 years old. TADRA includes age restrictions to advance to a the next type of license as well as required practice driving training hours.
The purpose of TADRA is to decrease accidents by making sure you get the experience you need before becoming a fully licensed driver. It has proven effective in reducing teen car accident rates.
The GDL program has three stages: instructional permit, provisional/intermediate license (Class D) and full driver’s license (Class C). Each stage of Georgia’s GDL program has a minimum age requirement:
- Instructional permit: 15 years old.
- Intermediate license: 16 years old, if you complete an approved Driver’s Ed course; 17 years old, if you do not complete Driver’s Ed.
- Full driver’s license: 18 years old.
You can apply for a driver’s license in person at a Georgia DDS office. You will need:
- One document proving your identity, such as your:
- Valid U.S. passport (or expired for less than 10 years).
- Original or certified U.S. birth certificate.
- One document to verify your SSN, such as:
- Social Security card.
- W-2 with your name and at least part of your SSN.
- Two documents to prove your Georgia residency, such as a:
- Utility bill dated within the last 2 years.
- Financial statement dated within the last 2 years.
- Payment for the driver’s license fee: $32 for 8 years.
- To pass a vision exam, written permit test, driving skills test.
- To have your photo taken.
New to Georgia?
When you move to Georgia, you have to transfer your out-of-state permit or driver’s license within 30 days of becoming a Georgia resident.
Regardless of your previous state’s licensing rules, you must meet the age and experience requirements of the Georgia DDS graduated driver’s license program (see below), and you’ll need to surrender your out-of-state permit or license.
You will need to have held your Georgia instructional permit for 12 months before you can be issued a driver’s license, and your time with your out-of-state permit WILL count toward this time.
See the Georgia Department of Driver Services website for a complete list of accepted proof of identity, Social Security and residency.